i understand the warning signs that my body is not functioning properly. i can see and feel most of the symptoms as they present themselves. when i recognize what symptoms i am dealing with, i can make a decision concerning the seriousness and appropriate treatment.
normally, if the symptom are not serious and within my realm of ability to treat, i address the symptom. if i have a minor cut and bleeding, i wash the cut, apply antibacterial cream and grab a bandage. if i am running a fever, have a cough and runny nose, i treat a cold or flu.
when i had breast cancer, i knew that something was not right but couldn’t put my finger on the problem. i had to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
when i have no symptoms but want to ensure that i continue enjoying a healthy lifestyle, i have annual check-ups with my health professionals.
i think it is equally as important to recognize when our emotional well-being is healthy or recognize the warnings that there might be something wrong.
our emotional well-being becomes wounded when we experience damage to intimacy, acceptance, value and sense of belonging. most emotional wounds will fall under one of these categories including abuse. abuses attack our sense of value, tramples our boundaries for intimacy, threatens our perception of acceptance and crushes our sense of belonging in a safe environment.
the wounds appear as symptoms in four areas; our thinking, our emotions, our behaviours and our spirit.
healthy emotions are easy to identify. they are identified by:
wouldn’t you agree that when you are feeling at your emotional best…these are evident and flowing freely?
in the same way that it easy to detect a fever when it is coming on (your temperature goes up…and up…and up), there are warning signs when your emotional well-being is at risk. these warning signs will indicate that there a wound, a potential problem or a threat that requires attention. like physical symptoms, if the symptoms are temporary and pass quickly, there is usually not a problem. however, if these emotional symptoms persist, healing action should be taken. Allowed to continue, they will prevent you from being free to do what you desire to do to build an overall healthy lifestyle.
the symptoms are identified as:
- deep sorrow or sadness
- constant agitation, anger, and snappiness
- persistent desire to give up or quit
- harshness, being deliberately hurtful and cutting
- feeling or acting revengeful, deliberately choosing wrong actions over right
- being deceitful, untrustworthy, disloyal, or cheating
- being overly forceful, heavy-handed, or extreme intensity
- being unsettled, unable to control negative impulses
people everywhere are struggling with wounded emotions. their hearts have endured many negative experiences resulting in untold damage. the damage needs to be dealt with in order for healthy well-being to be restored. when it comes to emotional issues, people have become very skilled at building defence mechanisms, sweeping the issues under the carpet or pretending they don’t exist. these mechanisms inhibit their pursuit of happy, healthy living.
even though the damage occurs against your will, you do not have to allow them to persist, grow or control your life. you can begin to treat the symptoms before they become too serious – if you recognize the warnings. if the symptoms have reached a serious state, you can reach out for help – with prayer, talk to a trusted friend, or seek a professional for help.
we all are going to get a few bumps and bruises along the way. offenses will come. early detection is vital to the prevention of more serious problems.
last week, i recognized myself becoming less and less tolerant and a bit snappy.
- i took my emotional temperature. i observed my reactions, my thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
- i got quiet. i know that when my reactions and behaviours are a bit out of line – i need to adjust something. for the well-being of my relationships, i get quiet to prevent causing damage. it actually took me a couple of days to pinpoint the problem which is ok. i just guard my behaviours and emotions to keep them in better alignment.
- once i knew what was causing the symptoms to manifest, i took action. i discovered that i had an agreement with someone that i felt had been broken. i could take control of the problem and address the issue.
- i determined my role and took responsibility. i needed to accept my role in the break down. was it communication? or expectations? had i carried out my part in the agreement? was there anything on my part that needed to be taken care of?
- i needed to communicate the issue and see what solution could be achieved.
when i treated the problem, the symptoms disappeared pretty quickly. ignoring the issue and pretending that i was not effected would not have returned my emotions to a calm, peaceful state. even if i was unable to completely resolve the problem, i am in control of my reactions and can avert negative consequences. i can’t control others but i can control myself and maintain my own well-being.
check your emotional temperature…your emotional well-being may be at risk…if it is…take action…today.
i hope to see you again soon,